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Published: January 13th 2006
Paul, age 13, measures himself against the size of a gorilla.
How can three plus week long trip be condensed down into a few blog entries? It can't. There is so much I have left out. So many experiences, smells, images, interactions... I know that things will pop into my head as time goes on so I may occasionally add to this blog.
I would also invite anyone to ask questions or make comments to make this a more active blog.
Also, I am creating a photo gallery. You can visit this by clicking on Denny N and then photo gallery.
1. It was difficult at times to write this blog knowing that people from Cameroon will be reading it. I wanted to be honest but I didn't want to be offensive. For example, when I wrote about the bad road to Mamfe, I don't want anyone to think it was a put down. The roads are bad. Why are the roads bad? In my opinion, I believe it is due to corruption. There are people in government positions who are very very wealthy. The money is not down to the people and their needs for good roads or whatever else. There is also some speculation that the roads are intentionally kept in ill repair in order to keep the NW and SW provinces from greater unification. There has long been talk of these two provinces withdrawing from the republic. There are some very difficult and involved issues here. Cameroon is very rich in resources; poverty should not exist to the extent that it does. (And it is not just these two provinces. As we drove through the country, we saw poverty everywhere. For the most part, I don't believe it is the fault of the people. In places like Moloko, children are often malnourished and, when hit by illness, die at a much higher rate due to their inability to fight off the illness.)
2. While in B'da, we met a family (German) who recently moved to Cameroon from Kinshasha (not sure if I spelt that right). They will be working with street kids here. Anyhow, they talked about how nice it is to be in a country (Cameroon) where the infrastructure is still intact and works . They told about the Congo and how war has completely destroyed the infrastructure and how roads were ravaged by war and it is virtually impossible to pass to various cities. Cameroon, despite it's problems, is very blessed. Things could be far far worse. In fact, as we drove along, we often saw people walking with machetes in hand. At the time I thought how reassuring that Cameroon is a country at peace. In Rwanda, not so long ago, a machete in the hand of a civilian would be reason to hide quietly in the bush and pray for survival.
3. After having been absent for approx. 25 years, I was curious as to how I would "see" Cameroon now. Would I be appalled by what I saw? Would the bugs bother me? Just how would I react? My principal told me that the closer I came to departure the happier I appeared to be -- virually floating down the halls. I fell back in love when I arrived. I love the sounds: crickets, frogs, birds, roosters in the morning. There is scarcely anything more beautiful to me than palm trees. Flowers. The people. New and old friends. The children. I cannot wait to return. And hopefully for a longer stay.
I think that I did see things with greater reality though. The dust and dirt. The problems. Etc. The perception of lack of opportunity.
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